UAE. Arab women are in the midst of rapid social change and understanding what motivates their spending is critical, according to Steve Hamilton-Clark, CEO of TNS MENA.
He said that recent research in Saudi Arabia has uncovered that women are motivated by technology, education and media, and that they are now demanding respect in all aspects of their lives, fuelled by external pressures and trends, including the growth of nuclear families and an increasing desire to expand social networks.
“Figures show that 29% of women feel that technology provides an avenue for self-expression, 32% believe it provides the power from information and knowledge, and 30% enjoy the community aspect of online communications.”
Hamilton-Clark was citing the Arab As A Consumer (ARAC) study carried out by TNS. The research among female consumers in the Kingdom unveiled the emergence of trends and new behaviours influenced by sweeping change in the region’s approach to education, an increasingly relaxed press censorship and the move towards empowering women.
He said that findings revealed that key aspirations are freedom, fun, self-expression, respect, acceptance of overt beauty, as well as an increasing lean towards health and wellbeing.
“The boundaries of traditional husband and wife roles have been redefined, the expectations of marriage have changed, educated women want to work, and then find that being a working mother is challenging.
The ARAC research revealed that 48% of the participants feel that women in the workforce is an economic essential and 44% rate having a job as an important influence on confidence levels and self-esteem, shared Hamilton-Clark.
“It seems that female consumers are embracing new relationships, adopting support systems, and creating lifestyles that reflect the individual personality. Overall, there is a new openness to alternate ways of keeping in touch and being connected,” he added.
Hamilton-Clark said that women spend more than US$20 trillion, worldwide and that regional marketers must fast understand the rapid evolution in the habits and desires of the Arab woman.
“As the region witnesses the shift in buying behaviour, trends and channels, marketers need to be aware of what drives female consumers. We must remember that there is no cookie-cutter approach to marketing; we must go deeper and find out about each market segments to ensure their wants and needs are met,” he concluded.
About TNS MENA
TNS operates across a vast network of over 80 countries and is one of the leading global custom marketing research organisations. TNS MENA was established in 1980 to cater to the growing markets of the Middle East.
Today TNS MENA is one of the largest full-service agency in the MENA region, with 150 research consultants delivering accurate business insight and counsel to its 200 plus clients. In the MENA region TNS focuses on creating valuable market research in leading sectors including FMCG, Technology, Finance, Media, Healthcare, Automotive. Every year TNS MENA conducts over 900,000 quantitative interviews and 3,500 qualitative conversations.
TNS MENA has pioneered Consumer understanding studies in regional markets with studies such as Arab as a Consumer (ARAC), Brands, Islam and the New Muslim Consumer (led by Ogilvy), Digital Life and Mobile Life. The Arab as a Consumer study is a syndicated study organised by TNS MENA since 1987. Apart from ARAC, TNS has also conducted Shabab Tek, a youth study that offers unique insights into the GCC youth markets. TNS is now conducting Iraq As A Consumer (IRAC), Corporate Reputation Program (UAE and KSA) and MarketSensus (large scale demographic study) in KSA and UAE.